The World In Which We Occur: Bodily Coalitions
Part of The World In Which We Occur Voice Archive
Recorded on Saturday, January 18, 2019, 4:30 pm Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham, UK
Speakers: Sophie Lewis, Jenna Bliss, France Winddance Twine
The session Bodily Coalitions will probe the intersection of critical feminist practices with the reality of biological reproduction and environmental transformations in today’s society. By thinking about the body as a chemical and affective assemblage, we will look into insurgent narratives and coalitions that propel further its conception as a political milieu, capable of social reinvention. We will address topics from transnational surrogacy to pharmacological defiance, challenging the scalar conception of bodies in the contemporary days of capitalist expropriation.
The World in Which We Occur is an event series co-led by Margarida Mendes and Jennifer Teets, taking place live over the telephone, and formulated around questions addressed by speakers across the world. Embarking on modern day issues rooted in the history of materiality and flux as well as pertinent politically enmeshed scientific affairs shaping our world today, the series’ premise is one of interrogation and epistemic search. To date, The World in Which We Occur has hosted sessions on the core debates of the Anthropocene, pharmakons (the body and the earth as a remedy and a poison), molecular colonialism in the reign of microorganisms, grief and climate change, and states of reserve and the legality of invisible regimes. It is currently exploring resource fetishism as its primary axis for the Lisbon presentation where it will bring together voices on water politics and earth metabolisms, from the perspective of art, science, law, the humanities, and activism.
Loosely inspired by, and set in the legacy of hybrids growing out of artist James Lee Byars’ 1969 "World Question Centre," The World in Which We Occur underlines the necessity for inquiry over an assertiveness of responses. “Could you offer us a question that you feel is pertinent in regards to your own evolution of knowledge?” asks Byars at the end of the line. The World in Which We Occur unveils incentives or queries as to generate further questions to build upon. It also aims to open up other areas of knowledge and speculation stemming from the core exercise of explicating one’s relationship within the current state of nature, in an era of erratic climatic behaviors. As a curation of voices, each session departs from an assisted dialing room set in an auditorium and is shared with an audience of listeners. The sessions are outsourced in the form of a growing archive.
The speakers recorded in previous sessions include Nabil Ahmed, Carolina Caycedo, Cormac Cullinan, Ashlee Cunsolo Willox, Fran Gallardo, Lori Gruen, Clive Hamilton, Stefan Helmreich, Pedro Neves Marques, Barbara Orland, Joana Rafael, Rory Rowan, Jenna Sutela, Paulo Tavares, Etienne Turpin, Ravi Agarwal, João Camargo, Joyeeta Gupta, Anna Tsing, Kai Bosworth, Stuart McLean.
SOPHIE LEWIS is a theorist, translator and utopian living in Philadelphia whose first book, Full Surrogacy Now: Feminism Against Family, will be published on May 7th 2019 by Verso Books. She studied English at Oxford, politics at the New School, and geography (for her PhD) at Manchester University, strands she now combines by participating in various projects including the Out of the Woods anti capitalist ecological writing collective.
JENNA BLISS is an artist and filmmaker currently based in New York. She recently completed an hour long documentary, The People’s Detox and a book, Suicide Girls coming out in 2019 with sax publishers. In 2017, Bliss organized a series of private, semi-private and public events Nihilism and Self Care at KW, Berlin. Bliss was a 2016-17 participant in the Whitney Independent Study Program.
FRANCE WINDDANCE TWINE is a Professor of Sociology, an ethnographer, a feminist race theorist and a documentary filmmaker, whose research focuses on multiple dimensions of inequality. Her research interests include girlhood, racism and anti-racism, sociology of the body, assisted reproductive technologies, and occupational discrimination. In her earlier research on British interracial families, Twine examined how white English and Irish women developed racial literacy as they negotiated and conceptualized racism (and anti-racism) as members of interracial families and as the parents of children fathered by Black men. This research was published in a A White Side of Black Britain: interracial intimacy and racial literacy (2010).
JENNIFER TEETS is a curator, writer, researcher and performer based in Paris. She is known for her research on cheese, mud, and terra sigillata – their transitioning towards materiality and entity and their ability to become something else when put in an exhibition or an essay. Her research and writing combines inquiry, sciences studies, philosophy, and fiction-critique, and performs as an interrogative springboard for her curatorial practice. Together with artist/philosopher Lorenzo Cirrincione (2014-onwards) she curates Elusive Earths, an ongoing in situ work, process, and dialogue that looks to the elusiveness of rare clays, soils, and earths with forgotten origins. Over time this research has involved different forms of replication, extraction, and multiplication of processes and their distribution as “clay narratives.” She has written extensively on art and curating in international art magazines and other publications and frequently lectures on curating and artistic research. Her writing can be accessed here: https://sciences-po.academia.edu/JenniferTeets
MARGARIDA MENDES is a curator and educator based in Lisbon. Exploring the overlap between cybernetics, ecology and experimental film, her personal research investigates the dynamic transformations of the environment and its impact on societal structures and cultural production. She is interested in exploring alternative modes of education and political resilience through her collaborative practice, programming, and activism. She curates across the world and was part of the curatorial team of the 11th Gwangju Biennale “The 8th Climate (what does art do?)”, (2016) and 4th Istanbul Design Biennale "A School of Schools" (2018). In 2016 she curated the long-term research exhibition MATTER FICTIONS, at Museu Berardo, Lisbon, publishing a joint reader with Sternberg Press. She has directed several educational platforms, such as escuelita, an informal school at Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo (CA2M), Madrid (2017), The Barber Shop project space in Lisbon dedicated to transdisciplinary research (2009-15). She is a PhD candidate at the Centre for Research Architecture, Visual Cultures Department, Goldsmiths University of London with the project “Deep Sea Spectrum” and is a frequent collaborator of the online channel for exploratory video and documentary reporting Inhabitants.
Prototype Session: The Anthropocene
Session 1: The Pharmakon
Session 3: Grief and Climate Change
Session 5: Water Politics
Session 7: The Underground
Uploaded by The World in Which We Occur on